Day 31: Sunday, March 4, 2012. Boots
Today Hannah wore splint boots on her front legs
for her ride. After the roundpen, she and Cindy
rode around the ranch again - this time unescorted!
Day 32: Monday, March 5, 2012. Review
Working around another day of jury duty, Cindy
was able to bring Hannah out for a review ride,
covering all the basics. They also rode around the
ranch alone again, with Hannah becoming comfortable
with riding pretty much anywhere!
Day 33: Tuesday, March 6, 2012. Blown
Extremely high winds, plus a full day of jury duty
for Cindy, meant today was strictly a 'ground manners'
Day 34: Wednesday, March 7, 2012.
And Still Blowing...
Another day of high wind warnings for the high
desert, another day of blowing and stinging sand.
Hannah and Cindy worked on the ground again, practicing
Day 35: Thursday, March 8, 2012. Trail
A beautiful day to be outside, so after their roudpen
riding review, Cindy and Hannah went out on trail!
Accompanied by Kristen and JC, they stayed out for
about 30 minutes and really enjoyed a wind-free
day. Hannah took to trail riding well for her first
Day 36: Friday, March 9, 2012. The
Arena, and More. See
pictures in the Gallery
Big day today for Miss Hannah - she had
her first ride in the main arena! She was
saddled for the first time with Cindy's Marshall,
a full leather saddle instead of the light-weight
cordura she's been wearing. Then after a brief
roundpen warm-up, Hannah and Cindy moved into
the arena for the first time. Working with
much more space and around such items as cavaletti,
plastic blocks, and a zombie cow (don't ask!),
Hannah took it all in stride.
Cindy allowed Hannah to get used to her new
surroundings, and the pair worked on being
straight and correct at the walk and trot
without the aid of a constant roundpen railing
to hold you in place! Hannah did very well,
but Cindy paid close attention to her tendency
to drift with the shoulders towards the gate.
Cindy worked Hannah on staying between the
reins and not being distracted or trying to
'leave' the arena before the rider is ready!
After her workout, Hannah received her first
'big girl' halter, a pink nylon. She also
experienced her first hoof picking - Cindy
has been working with her on having her feet
handled, but today was her first actual cleaning,
and she behaved perfectly.
All in all, a great day for Hannah and Cindy!
Day 37: Saturday, March 10, 2012.
Today at YVEC, the Morongo Basin Horsemen's Association
held their spring Eq-Games. There was plenty of
activity and new sights for Hannah, but as Cindy
was one of the judges, Hannah got the day off from
Day 38: Sunday, March 11, 2012. Half-n-half
Hannah had a full two hour workout today, half
in the arena and half on trail. During their arena
ride Cindy worked on Hannah's steering, controlling
the shoulders in a larger space. The trail ride
was special - Cindy and Hannah rode out for an hour
Day 39: Monday, March 12, 2012. Day
After a nice workout in the arena with continued
work on straightness and steering, Hannah and Cindy
worked on a few obstacles! First up was the gate,
and on her first time through Cindy pushed it open,
then rode through and closed it. On her second try
Hannah did a good job with her lateral movements,
allowing Cindy to open and close the gate easily!
Many of Saturday's Eq-Games obstacles were still
in the arena, so Hannah got to go through the curtain
(and she also stood quietly while Cindy tied the
curtain tatters together to preserve it from the
wind!). She walked over the bridge, and worked around
the barrels and sidepass poles. Through it all she
worked like a mustang - willing, and unconcerned
by any of it!
Day 40: Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Review
As Hannah progresses and steps up the level of
work she is doing, Cindy will be adding more review
days. Just as a human child needs more study time
the more advanced the work, a young horse needs
more repetition to allow the more difficlut concepts
and moves to sink in. Today was a great review day.
Day 41: Wednesday, March 14, 2012.
Cindy and Hannah are working steadily along, and
Day 42: Thursday, March 15, 2012.
Arena to trail, these review days will realy let
Hannah's training and confidence sink in.
Day 43: Friday, March 16, 2012. Review
How do you make a good horse? Practice!
Day 44: Saturday, March 17, 2012.
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Cindy and Hannah worked
on steering and everything else they could get in
before the nasty weather moved up the mountain and
into Yucca Valley.
Day 45: Sunday, March 18, 2012. Weather
Neither rain nor sleet nor snow...make
for good riding days! Unfortunately today had all
three, sometimes at the same time. And a day like
this would not be complete without some very high
winds and a severe drop in temperature, and no one
was disappointed with the one we got! Hannah stayed
warm and dry under her shelter today.
Day 46: Monday, March 19, 2012. Meet
Finally - the sun returned! Cindy
and Hannah got right to work today, spending their
ride time in the arena. After, Hannah got introduced
to the hobbles for the first time, and she did very
well with them.
Hobbles are used for many reasons,
but one of the most important reasons to break your
horse to hobbles is for the horse's safety. If at
any time your horse should become tangled or trapped,
with legs bound by wire or anything else they manage
to get themselves into, a hobble-broke horse will
be more likely NOT to panic. Horses that are used
to hobbles understand that if their feet can't move,
they should stand patiently until help arrives.
Which is the response you want in an emergency situation!
By learning about hobbles, Hannah took another jump
forward towards being a well-broke horse!
Day 47: Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Loading
A big day for Hannah - her first arena
ride with another horse in the arena, and some time
spent loading into different trailers!
Cindy and Hannah rode in the arena
with one of YVEC's lesson horses, Turk. Hannah kept
her eye on Turk and his rider, but otherwise did
very well! Afterwards, she was laoded into 2 different
styles of two-horse trailers. She was cautious but
not a problem to load - all set to come to Norco!
Amanda snapped these photos of Hannah loading into
her 2-Horse Slant:
Day 48: Wednesday, March 21, 2012.
Fun, Work, and Groooming See
pictures in the Gallery
Before starting today, Cindy
turned Hannah loose in the arena to play!
It's the most space she's had to run since
coming to YVEC, and Hannah too advantage of
it! When her party time was over, Cindy calmly
walked in and clipped on the lead rope, then
walked out. Easy as any more experienced horse!
More review work today, as Cindy
has stepped up her expectations of Hannah's
performance. Drifting and bluging shoulders
are not allowed, so Hannah's steering work
got a little more intense today. She does
better going to the left than to the right,
where she has trouble with drifting towards
the gate around corners. Careful to never
overpull in the bridle, Hannah experienced
the crop today as a further aid to prevent
her shoulder from drifting, and she is starting
to understand the concept!
||After her workout, Hannah was trimmed on her
muzzle, bridlepath, and legs with the electric
clippers. It was her first time with these,
and she really couldn't have cared less about
them! She stood nicely while clipping, then
received a nice washdown to end her day. See
pictures in the Gallery
Day 49: Thursday, March 22, 2012.
Yes, it makes for a boring report,
but a good horse! Cindy continues to work on Hannah's
steering, straightness and responsivness in the
arena. And Hannah continues to improve!
Day 50: Friday, March 23, 2012. Trail
Today CIndy and Hannah rode with Lauren
and Jericho during their lesson, and after, went
for a nice trail ride.
Day 51: Saturday, March 24, 2012.
Hannah's First Day Trip See
pictures in the Gallery
When Cindy's husband Steve offered
to help someone out with their new horse trailer,
Cindy saw an opportunity to get Hannah a lot of
new experiences! So off they went this afternoon
down to Rancho Mirage, to Michael Cintas' ECI (Equestrian
Centers International). ECI is home to many hunter/jumper
and dressage competitors, with a lot of equipment
Hannah has never seen, including an indoor arena!
||It was her first time working
in an indoor, and her first time around so many
bright and big jumps, and Hannah handled it
very well. In fact, what concerned her most
was the horses on two sides of the arena, all
with their heads hanging out of their stall
to watch her! One big white guy kept shaking
his head each time Hannah passed, and she tried
to avoid each time through there. So Cindy gave
her a minute to watch and see that horse would
not be able to approach her, and Hannah did
well for the rest of the indoor ride.
Those mirrors did give her a start - she couldn't
figure out where that horse had come from that suddenly
appeared at her side! Cindy worked her next to the
mirrors, first just standing and allowing her to see
how the horse in the mirror matched every move she
made with her feet or head! Then she worked her at
a walk and trot in both directions, and pretty soon
you could just SEE Hannah saying , "Who IS that
gorgeous horse over there, anyhow?"
Then it was on to the big
outdoor arena. The arena was the largest Hannah
has been in yet, and had jumps and piles of
logs to get around, and high judges' booths
and flapping flags to deal with.
As usual, Hannah did great, and Cindy even
took her on a canter in the big space! Then
it was down the lane again, this time to the
dressage arena, equipped with mirrors.
But for a mustang, all of our 'everyday' things are
weird things - there is no difference between a stall,
a barn, and a feed cart or a giant ball, a curtain
of streamers, or even a saloon dance floor! Cindy
demonstrated that by riding with confidence and expecting
a positive outcome, you communicate to your horse
that one thing is just as easy to negotiate as another.
Nothing about today caused Hannah anything more than
a normal amount of caution in a new place - she didn't
'freak out', spook, or misbehave. She did just what
Cindy asked - went confidently forward in every type
of surroundings. We are very proud of Cindy and Hannah!
pictures in the Gallery
After the mirrors, Cindy and
Hannah headed out to the Western Town a little
further down the lane. There were plenty of
buildings to ride in front of, but that wasn't
quite good enough for Cindy! She took Hannah
first onto the dance floor, then onto the
sidewalks and porches of the various establishments,
including an inn, a saloon, and a church.
Hannah had no trouble with any of this, and
seemed to enjoy seeing new surroundings. Watching
Hannah made me realize how much of our own
ideas we put into our domestic horses. So
many of them have difficulty approaching and
working over strange or "extreme"
type obstacles - after all, they are weird
things the horses have never seen before,
and we approach them as such.
Day 52: Sunday, March 25, 2012. Sleep
Instead of returning to the ranch
after her day trip, Hannah went to Steve and Cindy's
house in Pioneertown for a little more work away
from home. But this first day at Sleep-away was
a rest day - rain and winds made it unfit for riding!
Day 53: Monday, March 26, 2012. Road
pictures in the Gallery
Cindy and Hannah
spent today learning all about traffic while
on a trail ride along Pioneertown Road. Hannah
got to experience the deeper sand of the wash,
as well as the steady hum of traffic buzzing
along the road. Good preparation for the Urban
Trail Ride section of the Norco Makeover!
pictures in the Gallery that Steve took
as he rode along with Cindy!
Day 54: Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Arena
Most of today was spent working in
the arena at Steve and Cindy's house. Hannah is
doing a great job, but Cindy can still feel her
urge to drop her shoulder and duck to one side during
workouts. Today she made the arena gate her focus,
pulling towards it during the ride as so many horses
have a tendency to do.
After the ride Steve spent some time
walking with Hannah, to give her more experience
being handled by a variety of people.
Day 55: Wednesday, March 28, 2012.
Steve Gets Things Started
Today Hannah was caught up in her
stall by Steve, and she went with him willingly.
They walked all around the Lapp's house, over the
concrete sections and other scary areas. Hannah
behaved like a lady and just took in the scenery!
For her lesson today, Cindy took Hannah to the wash
and worked her for the first time with a pair of
Hannah wasn't fond of the spurs, but
that drifting shoulder needed a reminder that was
stronger than Cindy's leg alone. They worked hard
but gained some ground that day. Aftewards, Hannah
stood tied at the Lapp's house, and then Steve cooled
her out and rinsed her off.
Day 56: Thursday, March 29, 2012.
Hannah returned to YVEC today after
her extended stay at Steve and Cindy's. She had
a riding session during Lauren's lesson, and seemed
glad to be home.
Day 57: Friday, March 30, 2012. Hoof
New things today! Susan, who assists
Cindy with grooming and tacking horses, caught Hannah
up today and got her ready for her ride. Hannah
behaved wonderfully for her new handler. Her session
today was held in the dressage court, working on
steering again without the help of a fence railing
After her ride, she had her very first
hoof trim! She behaved very well for Josh, the shoer,
showing up the other horses by lifting and holding
her own feet, instead of leaning on Josh while he
Day 58: Saturday, March 31, 2012.
Day 59: Sunday, April 1, 2012. Wind
April 1st, but no one was fool enough
to bother riding in the heavy winds today!
Day 60: Monday, April 2, 2012. Moving
Today was a regular riding day, more
work in the arena.
Follow Hannah's story on the next
section, Days 61 - 90!